Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Writerly Wednesday ~~ Are Ears Smarter Than Fingers?

How y'all doing with your writing projects? I'm reading a friend's manuscript, then getting down to "bidness" on my own after I blow the dust off it! Sound off and let me know of your progress or lack thereof because I've been out of the loop. *grin*

What's today's title mean? It's a subject I've been pondering lately -- the difference between what our ears pick up vs. what we let flow from our brains through our fingertips to the keyboard or paper. Participating in several poetry readings and also listening to other poets read recently, I've tried to be aware of the subtleties and small differences between words/lines/sentences and meanings when I write them myself or listen to them.

     And there are great nuggets the ears pick up that the old fingers sometimes do not. Maybe this has to do with what type of learners we are -- aural, visual, verbal, etc. [More here on learning types, which I find fascinating.] Discovering the way(s) in which we learn can translate into better writing because our brains are being fed by the method(s) most pleasing to them. I'm a more visual/aural person. Manuals, schematics and maps make me crazy, but if someone shows or tells me how to do something, I'm off and running. Sorry...went off on a little tangent there. :)

Below are a few notes from agents and editors that my ears recently picked up at a writers conference. For a great post on the importance of reading our work ALOUD, check out Harvey Stanbrough's newest mini-lesson too. It's well worth the quick read. @@@

*Submissions that get read and noticed are the "high concept" ones in which the author describes clearly in just a few sentences what his/her book is about. Ex. Jane Austen meets James Bond.

*A short one-page synopsis is best.

*Personalize your queries to agents you've researched and targeted. Same applies to work going to journals, poetry zines, magazines, etc.

*Social networking really is important for author platform/branding. Be accessible online.

*Remove snippets of your manuscripts from the Web so you're not stepping on agents/publishers efforts to sell your book, and to keep your work safe.

More "gooder" stuff next week!

** Ear & fingers photos from Flickr


Sandra Leigh said...

Angie, thank you so much for linking to Harvey Stanbrough's site. Reading his post, I was reminded of when I first picked up "Tender Graces". I started to read, but before I knew it, I was reading aloud -- because the prose was so beautiful, so melodic, that it demanded to be heard, not just seen. For me, that is the ultimate reading experience. I'll bet Kathryn reads her work aloud! (Ha! Speaking of going off on tangents!)

Melissa Marsh said...

"Jane Austen meets James Bond" - that sounds right up my alley!

Glad to see you back, Ang. I'm making headway on my current novel and loving it!

Anita said...

Glad to have you back Angie :)! As for myself, I'm working on a series of short stories exercises that a friend and I have started doing together. Tres Fun!

Diane said...

Love the Jane meets James one. To the point for sure. :O)

Debbie said...

I enjoyed reading your post but the true highlight was Sandra's loving words about Tender Graces! What a great community we find ourselves immersed in.

Travis Erwin said...

Sound tips. One and all.

Jessica Nelson said...

Nice tips, thanks!
I love finding out what kind of learners people are! Fascinating stuff.

Karen said...

Thanks for the advice. I can use all I can get. Blessings**

Marguerite said...

Thanks for the excellent tips, sha! I liked the one, "Remove snippets of your manuscripts from the web"... :) And that Italian Cheesy Bread looks sinfully good! Thanks for the great recipe, I will try it!

Texas Playwright Chick said...

Oy, I've been out of the loop lately too - so busy! I totally agree that one should take the time to read their work outloud. makes such a difference when you hear it!

Deb Shucka said...

Great tips, as always. I've really missed your Wednesday "class" and your voice.

Angie Ledbetter said...

Sandra - You're welcome. I feel the exact.same.way about Kathryn's books! She's got that mysterious "something" you love to find in an author! :)

What great news Melissa! Can't wait to hear more about the current ms.

Anita - That really does sound like a fun project. Hope it takes you to intersting places.

I agree Diane. :D

Amen Debbie! This is THE best community, isn't it?

Glad you enjoyed, Travis. How's the writing world serving ya?

Meeee tooooo, Jessica. That kind of stuff really makes my brain buzz.

Backatcha Karen.

Marguerite my friend, you're very welcome. ;)

TPChick - Sure does. Glad you're back in the blogger world too.

Aww, Deb, thanks. And ditto.

Kathryn Magendie said...

*blushing* thank y'all!

Love this post, ANgie - so glad to see you back at it with all your helpful tips and recipes and everything!yyyaaayyyy!

(secret: shhhh - I always forget or don't have time b/c of a deadline to read my stuff aloud - I always MEAN to and then . . . well . . .lawd)

Labels (Posts, not Peoples)